“You have really helped me with my business by assisting me with my marketing and positive exposure in Fairfield, and with building relationships with city and city council members to attain my beer license. Also, you provided me tools to measure my growth and ensure continued success. Small businesses can gain valuable help from the SBDC.”
Plaza Oliver Gas & Food is the newest gas station in Fairfield, CA, and is conveniently located at the corner of Rockville Road and Oliver Road (1009 Oliver Rd.) right off the I-80 Freeway. It has a state-of-the-art car wash, propane fuel dispenser, and a food and beverage center that even features local, Suisun Valley wines. Currently, it is the only station in Fairfield selling biodiesel fuel.
Plaza Oliver Gas & Food is a $4+ million dollar investment into the Fairfield community that opened for business on May 1st, 2008 after months of construction and development. It is owned and operated by Mehboob "Matt" Hussain who has more than 20 years of experience owning and operating convenience markets and a fine wine and beer store in the Bay Area. POGF currently has 5 employees, and will be expanding to 8 employees as the business grows.
Plaza Oliver Gas & Food was not able to grow and become profitable due to the inability to sell beer and wine. After several months of going through the licensing process for a liquor license with the city and not being able to move ahead to the next step, Mr. Hussain needed assistance in obtaining the Public Necessity and Convenience Letter from the city of Fairfield. Mr. Hussain basically didn't know how to go about in getting the PNC from the city, and even retained a local attorney for help, but did not get anywhere.
In the summer of 2008, Mr. Hussain then started working with a Solano College SBDC Advisor. A strategy was developed to work with the city and community to bring attention to this matter with the objective of obtaining the PNC letter that would allow issuance of a liquor license.
Together, they developed a strategy of creating public awareness to his need. Part of the strategy included attending City Council meetings, FFSC Chamber networking and special events to introduce Mr. Hussain to local government and the business community, and vice versa--for the local government and business community to know Mr. Hussain as well.
Mr. Hussain had assistance on letters written to government officials explaining his situation. The SBDC also helped him prepare content and practice his presentations to the City Council. The SBDC attended several Council meetings with Mr. Hussain. During one meeting, the SBDC spoke on his behalf initiating a "Call to Action" for the City Council to prove that the City means it when they say "Fairfield is 4 Business."
The SBDC also built a website for city officials and the public which provided information about Plaza Oliver, Mr. Hussain's background, and the efforts to obtain the PNC and license. This is the link to website created by the SBDC to aid in the project--https://sites.google.com/site/plazaolivermarket/Home
On May 5th, 2009, Mr. Hussain finally got the Liquor License for his business.
There has been an 87.5% increase in sales from $40,000 per month (before Liquor license) to current level of $75,000 per month and a target is set for $100,000 per month. As of July 16th, 2009 Mehra Corporation is on track to meet its goals for 2009. Mr. Hussain has just hired a new cashier, and soon will hire an Assistant Manager.
Since Mr. Hussain does not live in Solano County, the SBDC (who lives and resides in Fairfield) has been instrumental in familiarizing him with key people in the city such as the Mayor and City Council members, and with businesses like local wineries where he can obtain outstanding wines that will generate high margins and increased profits while at the same time promoting the local wine industry.
Mr. Hussain now knows the value of the Solano SBDC, and the SBDC will periodically monitor his progress and inform him of upcoming training sessions.